Category: Design

San Francisco-Based Company Builds Guitars From Recycled Skateboard Decks

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Nick Pourfard is 22-year-old artist, musician, and skateboarder currently combing his multiple talents into one package: guitars built from reclaimed skateboard decks. The San Francisco-based industrial design student taught himself woodworking to tackle the project which he branded as Prisma Guitars. Each instrument is 100% handmade and composed of skateboards that have been used or broken.

Recently, Pourfard had the honor of building a piece for Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. Pourfard explains, “I took every detail of his playing style and aesthetic into consideration. The bass has an off-white painted alder back with skate top featuring colors as close to West Ham as possible. I laser cut a custom mirror pickguard and bound the whole body in black and white to pay homage to his classic original bass.”

You can donate your own used or broken skateboards to Pourfard before they make their way into a landfill here. (via fubiz)

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Green 3D Printer Prints Living Designs From Organic “Ink”

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Project PrintGREEN is turning 3D printers into on-demand gardeners after designing a “green” 3D printer in 2013. The printer produces living prints, printing customized objects in a variety of sizes and forms. The project was created at the University of Maribor in Slovenia, conceived of by students Maja Petek, Tina Zidanšek, Urška Skaza, Danica Rženičnik and Simon Tržan, with help from their mentor Dušan Zidar. The project’s goal is to unite art, technology, and nature, creatively producing living designs with the help of technology.

The “ink” in the machine is a combination of soil, seeds, and water which can be designed to print in any shape or letter. After drying, the muddy mixture holds its form and begins to sprout grass from the organic material. PrintGREEN’s slogan is a twist on the old conservationist motto, “think before you print,” telling their audience to “print, because it is green.” You can follow the project’s progress on their Facebook page here. (via My Modern Met)

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This Portable Salt-Powered Lamp Stays Illuminated for 8 Hours on a Glass of Seawater

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First the sea gave birth to life. Now, thanks to a trio of Philippine-based inventors, it is giving birth to light as well. Led by engineer Lipa Aisa Mijena, the team has developed a lamp that’s capable emitting light for 8 hours on just 1 cup of saltwater. Not only are the Philippines prone to natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes but the country is made up of over 7,000 islands, most of which do not have access to electricity, says the team. But one thing they do have is the sea, an abundant source of saltwater that can now be used to light homes and, in emergencies, power cell phones.

The saltwater-powered lamp uses the same science that forms the basis of battery-making. Where they differ from batteries is that the entire reaction is safe and harmless. Moreover, there are no flammable materials or components that go into lamp. Used 8 hours a day, every day, the team says the lamp can provide light for 6 months (or even over a year if used more efficiently) without having to replace any parts.

Over the past year or so SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) has won 7 different sustainability and entrepreneurial awards. If interested, you can enter your name and email on their website to receive product updates but right now the team is focusing on building lamps for their target communities. (via Web Urbanist)

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An Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken

Towering above the trees in a densely forested area of Indonesia lies a giant chicken. The gigantic structure has the body, tail, and head of the bird, even holding open its beak in what appears to be mid-squawk. Although the very old bird is quickly decaying, Gereja Ayam (as the locals call it) attracts hundreds of photographers and travelers to its location in Magelang, Central Java each year who are looking to explore the bird’s bizarre interior.

The building was originally built as a prayer house by 67-year-old Daniel Alamsjah after he received a divine message from God. Although he intended the building to resemble a dove, the locals care more that it looks like a chicken, nicknaming it “Chicken Church.” In addition to a prayer house, Alamsjah also used the building as a rehabilitation center, treating disabled children, drug addicts, and others. Alamsjah was forced to shut the center’s doors fifteen years ago after steep construction costs.

Currently five of the eight pillars holding up the building are crumbling while graffiti covers the inside walls. No longer a place for therapy, the building still serves as a place for worship and travel and according to locals—a private spot for many young couples to hide away from parents or prying eyes. (via Hyperallergic and Daily Mail)

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The Sandy Beach Architecture of Calvin Seibert

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Artist Calvin Seibert (previously) recently completed a new series of his geometrically precise sand castles on the beaches of Hawaii. A professional sculptor, Seibert seems to borrow angular ideas from Bauhaus architecture or the flair of Frank Gehry. How he’s able to control the sand so perfectly is anyone’s guess, it certainly puts my traditional upside down bucket method to shame. You can see more of his work over the last few years here.

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Calamityware: Mugs That Remind You It Could Always Be Much Worse

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Rendered in a style mimicking traditional blue willow pattern design, artist Don Moyer illustrated these fun It-Could-Be-Worse Mugs that remind you that no matter how bad your day is, things could be catastrophically worse. How bad? Think zombie poodles, pirates, attacking UFOs, and aggressive pterodactyls swooping from the sky. The mugs are a companion piece to his ongoing series of Calamityware dishware with similar abominations depicted on fine porcelain plates first featured here last year. The set of 4 mugs are currently funding on Kickstarter. (via The Awesomer)

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The Fourth Wall: A Rare View of Famous European Theater Auditoriums Photographed from the Stage

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For his ongoing series The Fourth Wall, Hamburg-based photographer Klaus Frahm shatters the illusion of stagecraft by taking us behind-the-scenes of several European theaters. Shot from the vantage point of the stage looking toward the audience, the photos reveal the stark contrast of ornate auditoriums and the technological scaffolding that facilitates a major theatrical production. Frahm captures the elaborate configurations of lights and the surprising enormity of the fly space hidden just behind the red curtain that can be up to three times larger than the seating area.

Frahm says the intention behind his photography “is to give way for a new perspective, to entertain, to offer a fresh sight on familiar things,” and to “reveal something laying under the surface.” The Fourth Wall project began in 2010 when he was documenting a new theater for an architect which involved a series of shots facing the wings and other angles from the stage. When reviewing his polaroids later that day he was immediately struck by the image-within-an-image contrast of the warm, fully-lit theater seats and the cold, hidden infrastructure. Klaus had ingeniously turned the tables: suddenly the audience was the spectacle and the stage was reality.

You can see more from the Fourth Wall series on Fram’s website. If you enjoyed this, also check out the work of David Leventi. (via It’s Nice That, thnx Kevin!)

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